Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

heavy snow days....

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Another thread asked: would you ski when it is snowing? There was a rash of 'yes' and 'no' responses. But it would be good to compile a bit more texture....

These were all real, but nice 'ideal types' - I remember them all....

Scenario 1: Horrible wet snow and low temps. Pretty miserable. Wet outer a&*e area from sitting on soggy chairs, even Gore trousers gather weight. Get to the car feeling glum, and steaming up the interior on the way home because of all the rampant dampness in the car. Worth it? Barely.

Scenario 2: Partner upset since not coping with the moguls everywhere, the hidden terrain bumps, and knee-drive turning since they are leaning back out of instinct. Might be a good day for me, but miserable for them. Retire to café.

Scenario 3: absolutely zero viz, know every cm of the hill and still have absolutely no idea of where we are, neither has the guide next to us, and when the clag lifts we are at least 200m from where we thought we were. Regret coming out, since on piste it’s 0.00002kmph progress, and offpiste lethal (see post on ‘Orange pole of death…’.

Scenario 4: drive to bottom station. Stare up hard. I think it tops out. IT DOES. When up at 2000m, we emerge from the clag onto 50cms of fresh, no tracks, no one on the hill since it’s snow and gloom in the valley. Woah…what a day.

Scenario 5: get out of bed. Snowing HARD. Check Meteox. Front will pass in an hour. Get in car. Get to bottom station, have a coffee. Get on hill. Sun comes out. No one on the hill. Woah…what a day.

Scenario 6: get out of bed. Snowing HARD. Check Meteox. Front will pass in an hour. Get in car. Get to bottom station, have a coffee. Nothing open because of Avi 5. Five! All over the Valais. Leukerbad cut off. Have another coffee. And another. Lifts still not open. Give up and go home.

And

7
The Cold One (thanks Richard) Look up the hill from the car park and can’t see anything, just the gondolas disappearing into the white. ‘It’s not open’ says the nice lady at the caisse ‘we’re waiting for the wind to die down’. Hmm....coffee time in the ski shop and a short wait. It’s going to be cold, then. After the lifties send the signal to let people on, we get to 3000m and MASSIVE wind. Snow is whipping past at a crazy speed. Icicles are forming as horizontal stalagtites from anything exposed and metal. The moment skis are on....way hey!...BLOWN along. After twenty minutes a guide passes and says to Dave - you’ve got frostbite on your cheek...yep...small icy disc forming...and I have it on my nose....and my partner has ice starting to form on her exposed wrist bone. Minus 20 with as much again in windchill. Call it a day? Nope, just a couple more hours....


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 21-01-20 20:43; edited 2 times in total
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Scenario 1 doesn't make sense, wet snow & low temps? Low temps = dry snow, surely? True that my last experience of wet snow was that I got soaked & felt miserable.
snow conditions
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

Scenario 1 doesn't make sense, wet snow & low temps? Low temps = dry snow, surely?

Valais2 means low positive temps for clarity
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Cold and wet tends to feel a lot colder than colder and dry. Snow melting and evaporating really sucks the heat out of you,
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
1. At least go out and see if as bad at looks. If is, fine luncheon.

2. Rule 5. Anyway, my OH skis much better than that and she’d be enjoying herself anyway.

3. Always go up and have a look. But... Not a chance. Vomiting after 2 minutes. And dangerous (out of control self propelling missiles).

4. Always go up and have a look. Happened to me first time in Verbier. No piste map of course, let’s just go as high as is open. Found ourselves atop Gele in 50cms of fresh fluffies and azur skies for the first run of the year ...

5. Always go up and have a look.

6. Not much to say. Avvy 5 really does mean stay indoors.
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
1. Check the forecast first, if temps forecast to drop, coffee and go out a bit later.
2. Get partner a lesson
3. Head for trees
4, 5, 6 yes agree!!
snow conditions
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
1.out till sodden, then retire
2.cafe to regroup, then suggest that you might pop out for a few quick runs while OH enjoys cafe culture.
3.Ride it out, pretend I'm enjoying it and remain gnarly.
4,5,6. Weather is like luck, only guarantee is that it will change.


May I throw another into the mix?
Blisteringly cold: -32c with wind on top of that. Delayed start while they thawed out the diesel in the generators. Only lower half opens due to low temps higher up. Hard to get skis and boards sliding due to ice forming on bases and freezing to the ground on contact. However, snow conditions very good and almost no people. Oh, and its the last day of the trip...


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Tue 21-01-20 8:50; edited 1 time in total
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
"Always go up and have a look" doesn't always apply in chairlift territory. When you get out and have to ski down. Down? Which way is down? Maybe folks who blithely say "head for the trees" have never experienced 3.
snow report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
What trees?
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Depends mainly on how long you are in resort for,
A few years ago in Valloire we woke up to rain in resort, last but one day and most were off out, we looked at the forecast and it said it might clear by 12, it did almost stop by then so had early lunch and went out, met many wet miserable folk on their way home, by the time we got to the top it was sunny and we had six inches of fresh powder to almost ourselves for the rest of the day. As for skiing in wet windy snow, mrs R hates it so we stay in and read a book
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@pam w, round here lift 1 is usually enclosed with download possibility.

Even in 3 you can usually relay from marker to marker to get down. I have done that after a “it’ll be clear higher up” call. However, I’d have forever wondered what we’d have missed had we not gone up...
ski holidays
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
pam w wrote:
"Always go up and have a look" doesn't always apply in chairlift territory. When you get out and have to ski down. Down? Which way is down? Maybe folks who blithely say "head for the trees" have never experienced 3.


I’ve been out when I’ve had to virtually side slip from piste pole to piste pole to get out of the whiteout and into the trees!
ski holidays
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Piste pole? What piste pole? snowHead
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@kitenski, cross post. The one day I recall doing that it was just to get back to the bubble as there were no trees ...
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I really don’t enjoy skiing in heavy, falling snow, but will usually go out to see what it’s actually like. I’m there, I’ve only got a week, so why not? However, if it’s NOT enjoyable for me, I’ve no problem in heading back, having a coffee or lunch, maybe a sauna or swim, snooze, read a good book. It’s not skiing, but I’m still on holiday. Rather that than being miserable, wet and cold.
snow conditions
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Scenario 1 is the only total killer for me.

Scenario 3 if there are no trees. Helps to know the pole to pole routine and how you know which is the left/right side of the piste.

Scenario 4 is always the best.
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Scenario 1 - the first day that my wife and kids spent on skis. We had missed the morning ski school meet and I had 4 kids to try to entertain for 3-4 hours. Spent most of the morning explaining to them why, having spent an hour rolling in the snow, they were now soaking wet and freezing cold.

Scenario 2 - Been there, not going to make that mistake again.

Scenario 3 - Been there, used as excuse to buy new goggles (they wouldn't have helped, but... new goggles!)

Scenario 4 - YEAY! The day that snowboard & I united in harmony* and have never looked back.


* in my dreams! But there was such a ginormous difference between the deep, soft fresh snow that afternoon, and the hard packed pistes I'd been learning on up until then.
ski holidays
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
1. Maintain your GoreTex properly or send it back as those are the conditions it excels (IME) - should be just fine sitting on wet chairlifts all day. Also either fat skis or a snowboard helps when the snow is dense.
2. Partner's choice to ski or not. If I'm having fun, they're free to go to pub/cafe/home themselves. But not an issue with my gf!
3. Ski the trees. No trees? Learn the lesson and go somewhere with trees next time (this is one reason the advice to always go high early season is not always good advice), or drive to another resort. But yeah, skiing open alpine slopes in a whiteout sucks and I have no interest in doing so. I'll go somewhere with trees (or rocks/walls, like a couloir) for contrast, or not ski.
4. Happy days!
5. Skip the coffee and get the fresh tracks in the trees while others wait for it to go blue
6. Find a flat meadow-type resort with trees that can't slide whatever the conditions. Like here:

Flat and shallow powder skiing in Tirol from theADVENTURESofCLARKLEBERRYfinn
https://vimeo.com/252227564

L4-5 everywhere, and we had a load of fun without taking any risks. Fat skis are probably needed though, otherwise in deep snow on flat slopes you just can't keep momentum up unless it's truly blower pow.

If there's fresh snow there's *always* a way to make it fun!
snow conditions
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Only 4 & 5 would see me out.

One of my all time best days - La Rosiere, huge overnight Storm, still blowing, only the lower drags and Les Eucherts chair running, virtually zero viz, very strong winds and low clouds meant our group of 10 were the only folks on the hill. I fell on piste and it took a combined effort to get me up again as the fresh snow was bottomless - Arm and poll sank to the shoulder.

We managed by very careful planning and navigation to find the path that lead to the 2 runs that descend from the village to a very low lift through the trees.

After 100m we dropped through the cloud, the wind disappeared completely and onto one of my favourite runs - Fontaine Froid. The powder was fresh and knee deep. We had 2 hrs of total bliss before other people appeared. We'd trashed the snow by then Laughing
latest report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Some storm days work out. Some are excellent even if you end up being soaked through. Some don't.

Inversions aren't storm days. The real skill is judging whether clag is temporary or permanent.

Cat 1 goggles. If you don'y have them what are you some sort of tourist?
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I hate getting wet so #1 would see me stay in bed .
#6 I have never witnessed but not a lot one can do if the lifts close anyway (no touring gear).

Had one of my best mornings ever also in La Ros in a #3.
Very heavy snow but headed up to Fort anyway with our usual plan of getting to Italy (obviously link closed).
Ended up lapping it for about two hours - me and a pal the only people out.

6 inches of light powder on the piste. Couldn't see much but just enough to keep safe.

Headed home for lunch in zero vis and terrific winds at top of main chair - to discover the whole resort had been virtually shut down since mid morning - the poor lift operator on Fort must have only stayed open for us ...!

Had to pole to pole all the way back to resort - could not see which way was up or down.

Have also had similar deep powder on Fontaine Froid in the trees - great run (and great little resort for decent dumps of snow frankly)
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I would ALWAYS go out unless Avalanche risk 5 or raining to top of mountain.
If there is too much wind to open the lifts I'll generally go for a skin.
Mountain weather is unpredictable. Some of the best days skiing, hiking, whatever start with foul weather that breaks leaving you with the place to yourself. If you don't buy a ticket then you won't win that lottery!
the worse thing than can happen is that you don't have fun so you finish early. Even then you have the satisfaction of having made an effort.

On zero viz, I've never actually experienced zero viz in the trees. Trees not only provide contrast and points of reference but the needles seem to act as formation points for water droplets so "suck" fog out of the air.
I actually don't HATE skiing in zero viz - at least when the snow is decent - although I'd not do it all day. There is real challenge, learning and satisfaction in practicing skiing by feel.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
If ANY of these scenarios seem unpleasant then PLEASE STAY IN BED and don't clutter up the pistes for the rest of us Toofy Grin
ski holidays
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
We always give it a go. We were rewarded with blue sky powder on piste at Christmas when we did. Bliss. However, I remember my fear years ago, trying to get my fearless little dots of girls down, when we were caught in fog. @pam w, what piste pole? That made me smile today..at the time I went Haribo-tastic bribing them for compliance, in tight formation trying to see the sodding pole! Knowing the falaise was close by made me a bit sweaty at the time. Now, I like the peacefulness and the girls are taller than me.
Poor vis due to fog is a different experience to poor vis due to wind with rain/sleet/snow. The latter, for us, means longer lunch stops (perhaps the only time I can persuade OH to do so), but we always try to get up and out.
snow conditions
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@clarky999, ...as if we neglect our GoreTex! Techwash, reproofing, etc etc!!!!!...actually, alongside the immaculate stuff, in reality I have some very old, sad Patagucci and Peak P stuff - cack magnet colours mostly...

DJAT - real story - right at the end of the day, my partner and I were off St Martin ridge in 3V, closing time, zero viz, tiptoeing down to Meribel peering into the murk. It’s Jan and already getting low in light. We suddenly come upon a family of four - all beginners - floundering and panicky. In the wrong valley. Ten minutes to get them to the top and over to St Martin. I take the 11 year old, my partner the 7 year old, and we ask the parents to follow. I get my charge moving and keep up the pace - not too fast for him but fast enough to get to the left in time. He’s doing fine. We nurse the kids down and I stop when I can hear the mid station lift clanking away to our right. Can’t see it, but I can hear it. I stop, knowing we are 50m away from getting them on the lift and back up. I can hear but not see the father fulminating and complaining about the snow - his ability is not what he thinks it is. We’re in time. I can see my partner coming with the seven year old. The 11 year old looks at me and plaintively asks ‘..Are we going to die?...’. It’s clearly been a VERY stressful and unfamiliar experience for him. ‘...No...no-one’s going to die today....’.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 21-01-20 15:45; edited 2 times in total
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Same as under a new name - really bad motion sickness for me in a whiteout if no trees.
snow conditions
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Richard_Sideways, nice one...RichardS...that’s a definite 7. And we have had that too often...

So...

7
Look up the hill from the car park and can’t see anything, just the gondolas disappearing into the white. ‘It’s not open’ says the nice lady at the caisse ‘we’re waiting for the wind to die down’. Hmm....coffee time in the ski shop and a short wait. It’s going to be cold, then. After the lifties send the signal to let people on, we get to 3000m and MASSIVE wind. Snow is whipping past at a crazy speed. Icicles are forming as horizontal stalagtites from anything exposed and metal. The moment skis are on....way hey!...BLOWN along. After twenty minutes a guide passes and says to Dave - you’ve got frostbite on your cheek...yep...small icy disc forming...and I have it on my nose....and my partner has ice starting to form on her exposed wrist bone. Minus 20 with as much again in windchill. Call it a day? Nope, just a couple more hours....
ski holidays
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
How Heavy?


http://youtube.com/v/xqaBfdCjDr8
snow conditions
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@valais2, how kind of you and your partner to guide that family down. They were lucky to have come across you. Poor vis, failing light with pressure of the last lift is not fun. Those children clearly picked up on the parental fear.
I adopted the cheery head teacher circa 1950s voice “what fun to ski blind, girls!” to mask my fear of the girls losing it but they were unfazed, locked into skiing our tracks fine and they thought it such a treat to be given so much Haribo, they asked to do it again, “er, no”.
We were once stopped by a similar family to your story, in poor vis in VT, and they asked if they could join us so we could guide them down. Was happy to help as we can all underestimate the mountain, weather, time, ability at some point.
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I dont think people realise how dangerous it can be skiing in white outs, once gave my Mrs and three friends a right cussing for not staying close together in one, they thought I was a right grump until I told them to find their own way down, they had only been skiing a few weeks and had no idea what the coloured tips on the poles meant etc, there was very soon a lot of shouting from them to each other as they were all lost in a few meters.
snow conditions



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy